It is not the islands of the Maldives that are visible in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (<a href="http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov">MODIS</a>) image, it is the ring of coral atolls that form the islands. Approximately 1,190 tiny islands sit on the 26 atolls seen in this image. The coral reflects light, lending a brilliant aquamarine tint to the water in satellite imagery, and it is this that makes the Maldives stand out against the vast Indian Ocean. Only 80 of the islands themselves are occupied. The islands are low and flat, covered with white sandy beaches. Because 80 percent of the land area is less that one meter above sea level, the country is highly susceptible to sea level changes related to global warming. MODIS flying on NASA’s <a href="http://terra.nasa.gov/">Terra</a> satellite captured this image on January 5, 2004. Sensor: Terra/MODIS. Data Start Date: 1/5/04.